Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Yugao, Genji, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

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Original Japanese woodblock print

Artist: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839 – 1892)
Title: The Yūgao Chapter from ‘The Tale of Genji’
Series: Tsuki Hyakushi (One Hundred Aspects of the Moon)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Date: 1886
Dimensions: 36.4 x 24.3 cm
Condition: Some creases, some glue stains at the bottom, thinned paper in some areas, small brown stain on the back.


One Hundred Aspects of the Moon is Yoshitoshi's one of the most popular series. It contains one hundred woodblock prints depicting various, unrelated figures from Japanese and Chinese culture, with the moon as its unifying theme.


Heartbroken ghost of a woman wanders through the garden, unable to find her love. It is Lady Yūgao, a character taken from 'The Tale of Genji', Japan's first novel.
Passing by a garden one evening, Prince Genji notices wildly growing, white moonflowers. As he discovers the garden belongs to a beautiful lady, they exchange letters and fall in love. However, she refuses to tell Genji her real name and he calls her Yūgao after the flowers. Soon enough, the jealous spirit of one of Genji’s mistresses kills Yūgao and Genji mourns her deeply. Here, the blue lips indicate her transition into a lifeless spirit. She fades away into nothingness, as quickly as delicate yūgao flowers. The fragile structure of the moonflowers is skilfully achieved by karazuri (embossing) technique.

More Information
Artist Name Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Title The Yūgao Chapter from ‘The Tale of Genji’
Subject Beauty & Female, Spirits & Religion, Flowers & Botanical
Dimensions 36.4 x 24.3 cm
Series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon
Publisher Akiyama Buemon